BoozePark (surely BoxPark? Ed?) bosses have announced that their BoozeHall (surely BoxHall? ed.) will open next year in two converted former council warehouses on Welsh Back. This is the site where campaigners wanted to put a slave trade museum and Bristol City Council spent £1.4m moving a house barge inconveniently moored outside the warehouses.
BoozeHall will basically be a large corporate shed full of food and drink retailers similar to BoxPark in Croydon, which has proved highly controversial. Not only for the amount of council subsidies and loans it has grabbed, including a £3m start-up loan; a £500k slice of Croydon’s arts festival budget and hundreds of thousands of pounds-worth of business rate relief, but for its treatment of traders.
Tenants at BoxPark are unhappy with the venue’s management running their own lucrative large-scale events, such as screenings of major football matches or the finale of Love Island. You even may have seen it on TV? Fans in Croydon throwing pints of lager in the air for TV news when England score a goal?
“On event days we lose 75 per cent of our business as we have no families visiting due to drunken people. Boxpark wants to sell all the alcohol and cover the area with drinkers,” says one trader. Many of whom have been voting with their feet since it opened in 2016. Contacts in Croydon say BoozePark is usually only three-quarters full with traders.
Will Bristol’s BoozeHall be any different to Croydon’s BoozePark?